Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our God of Second Chances

Our God is the God of second chances.
When I look back over my life, I can often see that there were turning points, moments of conversion, when a decision I made was to change my life forever.
So many times I said – No or Never. And God would come back again and again to give me another chance to say Yes.
I remember the moment when my father-in-law told me that I would be perfect if only I was Catholic. (I think he was only half-joking.) I told him very seriously that I would never convert to Catholicism.
Dad passed away within the next several months. About 2 years after that, I entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.
So much happened in-between and that is another story, but over 20 years later, I know it was all grace. (And I am also pretty sure that my father-in-law had a lot to do with it. I can just picture him driving God crazy.)
I remember the moment when I told my husband that I would never get a spiritual director. My husband had one, but I didn’t think I needed anyone.
I wanted to do it myself. God and me. The truth is, I didn’t think I could trust anyone enough to talk to them about something so personal as my relationship with God.
Six months later a new priest came to our parish. As I got to know him, I found it easy to talk with him about anything. Within months, he became my spiritual director and would become one of the most profound influences in my life.
Through his direction and compassion I would learn about the God I never knew. This kind priest would become someone I would trust, someone who would help me to know God’s healing and loving heart.
We cannot see God face to face. We cannot see Him in the immediate “now.” The only way to see His presence in our lives is to look back from time to time.
It is in looking back that we can see how God has guided us or nudged us or invited us. Looking back we can see all the times God has made our crooked paths straight.
Looking back, we can see the God of second chances.

12 comments:

  1. How thankful am I for the God of second chances and that He alone makes all our crooked paths, straight!

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  2. Colleen, I was also adamant that I'd never become a Catholic. God must smile when we say such things. When I think of how God has rescued me from so many mistakes, it reminds me to give others second chances too. At least I hope I remember to do this! God bless.

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  3. And I said I would never return to the Church. I could just see Jesus grinning as I said this saying "That's what you think."
    What He said to Israel in Jeremiah, He says to us: "I know the plans I have for you..."
    Great post Colleen. I definitely see God better, at times, in the second chances.

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  4. What a great post about God's second changes! Thank you Colleen! I loved reading about your personal examples.

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  5. Hi Colleen, thank God that He is not "a one shot deal" or else many of us would never get to know Him in this life or the next! I would love to hear your conversion story sometime.

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  6. Debra, amen to that! God bless!

    Sue, I hope I give people second chances too. And 3rd and fourth ... Thanks.

    Karinann, I agree with you and Sue too, about Jesus grinning at us, saying, uh huh. I love that verse from Jeremiah. Thanks for adding that here. I had not thought of that, but so true. Now, if we could only trust in His plans, we could relax more! And never say never! :)

    Esther, thank you! Glad you liked the personal examples. God bless!

    Noreen, amen to your comment about God not being a one shot deal! I have told my story in bits and pieces. Maybe it is time to tell the whole thing. Thanks!

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  7. Colleen,
    Great post! I am certainly glad that He is a God of second chances - who knows where I'd be if not for his mercy. I always enjoy reading about how God lines things up for you, Colleen :) He is so good!

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  8. Thanks for this story Colleen. It's interesting how God chose a spiritual director for you and allowed him to have a profound influence on your life and you had no idea that you even needed that! How wonderful that God knows us better than we know ourselves!

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  9. "makes our crooked paths straight"

    How wonderful!

    I love this post and I am so grateful that God has always; and continues, to make my crooked paths straight. By His grace and mercy, alone, I am SAVED.

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  10. Mary, thank you! Yes, God is good!

    Anne, yes, it is wonderful that He knows us better than we do! Awesome, really. I imagine we all hsve stories like these.

    Judy, yes! I love that saying and use it a lot - "makes our crooked ways straight." God bless and hugs.

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  11. Amen! I praise the Lord everyday for the second (and third and a million) chances He has (and continues) to give me. Our God is truly an awesome God!

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  12. I liked the story about the spiritual director. I've wondered what it would be like to have one, but like you I can't imagine sharing that part of my life with anyone.

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